New York City Assemblyman Dov Hikind decided to go with a blackface costume to his own Purim party this weekend, as first reported by the New York Observer‘s Politicker. The Brooklyn Democrat said he was trying to emulate "some of these basketball players."
Hikind went all-out on his costume, according to the New York Post.
The joyous Jewish celebration of Purim can often involve Halloween-type costumes and Hikind didn’t spare any detail in his curious retro look.
He wore brown face paint, sunglasses, an Afro wig, and an orange jersey in his bid to look like a 70s hoops star. …
"I was just, I think, I was trying to emulate, you know, maybe some of these basketball players. Someone gave me a uniform, someone gave me the hair of the actual, you know, sort of a black basketball player," Hikind said.
Hikind is standing by his costume choice.
"I am intrigued that anyone who understands Purim—or for that matter understands me—would have a problem with this," Hikind wrote on his blog. "This is political correctness to the absurd. There is not a prejudiced bone in my body."
Hikind is also being labeled a hypocrite for choosing to wear such a controversial costume just weeks after expressing outrage at designer John Galliano, a convicted anti-Semite, for dressing like a Hasidic Jew during Fashion Week.
"Who is he mocking?" reacted Hikind. "The way the socks look, the jacket, the peyos … my question is, who’s he laughing at?"
According to Hikind, anything is fair game for Purim as long as nobody is "mocking."
"It’s all just in good fun with respect always, whatever anyone does it’s done with tremendous amounts of respect and with dignity, of course," said Hikind.